A Knoxville developer has high hopes to bring back the Belle Island Village project. They also have plans for construction of a new $44.9 million events center for the city of Pigeon Forge.
Pigeon River Land Partners LLC were given preliminary approval to develop a special events center adjacent to a 35-acre parking facility owned by the city. The city would then use the facility under a 27-year lease. Meanwhile, Pigeon River Land Partners have entered negotiations to acquire Belle Island Village. Belle Island at one time was to include a museum for the Hollywood memorabilia collection of actress Debbie Reynolds, a NASCAR-themed attraction called the Darrell Waltrip Racing Experience, a hotel and retail stores.
A lot of the construction for Belle Island was completed, but a firm behind the project filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and Belle Island was taken over by lenders at foreclosure auctions. The family of Debbie Reynolds previously has said the memorabilia collection would be sold at auction, so it’s not likely the museum will be included in the new attraction. There is currently a 138-room hotel that was partially constructed as part of Belle Island and the developers will be purchasing 12 more acres to build a 200-room hotel. The group hopes to restart construction this summer, with the hotel and some restaurants open by the spring 2012. The project will be renamed Riverwalk Village at LeConte Center.
The 232,599-square-foot events center named, LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge, will include a 100,500-square-foot exhibit hall and a 12,000-square-foot multipurpose hall. Construction is expected to begin this summer, with completion in early 2013. The city has also proposed to build a bridge from the parking facility to Riverwalk Village. Read full Story from Knox News.